Dreams really do come true. Keep dreaming!
I am writing this while huge snowflakes are falling outside my window. Seconds ago, it almost seemed possible to count them, but not anymore. Now the world outside seems transformed into a swirling haziness of white. I am prepared to stay bundled inside today. This storm is supposed to drop snow, followed by freezing rain for hours. I hope the weather forecast is wrong, but just in case it’s not, I have a 25 lb. bag of salt waiting in the garage. The furnace is humming and I am sipping licorice spice tea. A pot of homemade beef barley soup is simmering on the stove, and the fragrance is distracting me. Random thoughts keep marching through my mind, and I find myself wondering about why people live where they live. I’m not talking about the building or the structure, but rather the place or location on a map. And not just where, but why in the world do we live where we do?
There may be people who made a very conscious decision in choosing the exact longitude and latitude for where they call home. For some, the question might not even be considered until retirement beckons on the horizon. When we were growing into adulthood and leaving home we probably chose a place to live based on a job offer or where we worked, or where we attended college or took classes, or where the military gave orders and we followed them. Maybe it was a combination of reasons or a sort of evolution over time. Some of us may have chosen to stay close to home or family or friends. Or maybe we moved somewhere and thought we’d live there for only a few years and all of sudden 20 years has gone by.
This past year there were countless stories of weather conditions with mind-blowing devastation in nearly every corner of the globe. There have been many recurring conversations at work about where was the best place to live in the United States, or the world. The consensus continues to be that we pretty much live in the perfect place. We get to experience and enjoy all four seasons, and our weather is somewhat minimal compared to so many other places. Yes, we have cold and snow, but generally only for the winter months. There are good things and bad things about every corner of the world. Plus, they can teach us appreciation.
Now some of you may be shaking your head while reading my words, and even asking, “Is she nuts?”
Maybe you left the Midwest years ago because of the cold and snow. Maybe you think you live in the best place on earth. I hope each one of you thinks you live in the best place on earth.
Yesterday, as I was shoveling and chipping away some sidewalk ice, this same topic was on my mind. It reminded me of a Christmas letter I wrote years ago about shoveling. It was from 2007, and it seems appropriate to share the words with you now.
Last night, as I shoveled for the 3rd time so far this winter, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty that surrounded me. My only company was an occasional car driving by and the muffled sounds of neighboring shovels scraping and snow blowers whirring. There is a oneness in the getting all bundled up and transferring shovel loads of snow from sidewalks and driveway to snow banks and also partaking in the occasional mittened waves to neighbors and passersby. Somehow the magic of it made my shovel seem lighter. The trees, bare of leaves, now provide shelter to what has to be trillions and trillions of snowflakes in bark crevices and assorted branches – a truly beautiful sight.
I always find shoveling to be a meditative time when I spend time with God and think of loved ones near and far and the special place they hold in my heart. Last night was no exception as I, with each shovelful asked God for assistance with special requests, blessings, healings, strength, angelic protection and all good things for each one of you. Please know that although the miles may separate us and our communication may at times be limited, you each hold a special place in my heart and are wished blessings, great health and prosperity, with peace and joy beyond your wildest imaginations!
Wherever you live and for whatever reason you’ve chosen to live there, I hope you take the time to observe and appreciate the wonder in the world around you. Then, if anyone asks you why you live where you do, you’ll have an answer. And now, I need to go out and shovel…again.